Violence – Taiwan Style

It was the wee hours at the PigPen (wait, let me put on my Surprised Face).
A foreigner attempted the disco; entry denied.  The foreigner (here unnamed, but you all know who it was) became argumentative, then violent, striking the doorman.  Said foreigner then retreated across the street to Sound Garden and the company of friends.
At some point thereafter, a gang of Taiwanese toughs armed with clubs descended on Sound Garden to extract a measure of revenge.  One supposes they were looking for the offending foreigner.  It turns out they didn’t locate that particular foreigner, but there were others in the vicinity and blood was up.
Those present tried to run away, but the attack was organized – the joint was surrounded.
The mob inflicted injury on any foreigner who was unlucky enough to be present.  Two were hospitalized.  A woman will require reconstructive surgery on her hand; a man, struck in the head with a golf club, is lucky to be alive.  The doctors lost count of how many stitches it took to close the wound.

Outrageous?  Of course.
Surprising.  Not a bit.  And let that be your lesson.

While the foregoing account is 6 different versions of hearsay, some facts are not in dispute.  I’ve seen Simon’s stitches, and I’ve seen gangs of wannabe Junior Sino-Sopranos beat the hell out of a single, unarmed man before.

Let’s be clear about this: There is no justification whatsoever, legal or moral, for swarming a man with baseball bats and golf clubs.  That is simply out of proportion to any alleged offence, and where I come from it’s called attempted murder.  And that’s even assuming the gang of pissant thugs is beating on the person who “deserves” the beating.
In the present case, they were beating innocent bystanders.  It’s nothing more than racism at its ugliest.  (Where did I put my Surprised Face?)

We get awfully comfortable living like Language Demi-Gods and Modern Marvels of Engineering, and in many ways forget that this ain’t Kansas anymore.  You think 10 or 15-on-1 is unfair?  You consider it a breach of etiquette to bring a gun to a knife fight?  Sorry, Toto, that’s just the way it’s done here.  Welcome to Taiwan.  

Chinese culture does not understand mano a mano.  It isn’t “Fuck with the bull, get the horns.”  In Taiwan, you get the whole fucking herd.  Consider that the next time you feel the urge to demonstrate what a Bullshit Intolerant Bad Ass you are.  
If I were a betting man (and I am) I’d wager that you (a) ain’t nearly bad enough, and (b) don’t have enough people at your back to start trouble this deep in someone else’s backyard.
Trading bad attitude with street-level Taiwanese gangster hopefuls is ASKING to take a beating, and there is nothing fair about the fight you’re starting.  You MIGHT win the opening skirmish.  You will lose the war.  And keep this is mind, too: They won’t only beat you into a coma.  They’ll beat you, the woman you’re with, your dog, anyone who tries to help you, and anyone who looks like they might know you.

So, how do We respond to this incident?  
Some stupid, testosterone-fueled no-necks have been making noise about “teaching those Taiwanese fucks a lesson.”  Should they try to do so, or even make too much noise about considering such a plan, I sincerely hope there’s something left for their Mothers to bury when it’s over, assuming their remains are ever found.
Other’s have been swearing that they will never go to the Pig Pen again.  Economic sanctions!  Well, that will work about as well as it did on Iraq and Cuba…if you’re lucky, you’ll put a couple of waitresses out of a job…but if it makes you feel better, fill your tank elsewhere.  My concern with the “avoid the neighborhood” plan is that it inflicts harm on Mr. Wong and Sound Garden.  And let it be clearly understood that Mr. Wong, our long time friend and purveyor of late-night spirits, tried to prevent the melee by placing himself between thugs and victims.  You want to stop drinking at the Pig, that’s one thing.  Just be careful about who really suffers the brunt of your disposable dollar response.

My sympathy and sincere hope for a speedy and complete recovery goes out to all who were harmed in this sad, dispicable demonstration of violence.  But the point remains – there is violence out there, and it’s not like the violence you’re familiar with from back home, where the drunks trade a few head shots and then sleep it off in the drunk tank.  There’s nothing fair or restrained about it; it doesn’t always target those who deserve a good smack.  It often shows up as a gang carrying cudgels and blades.  
Violence here is like Joe Pesci in Casino, except worse: You beat him with fists, he’ll come back with a knife; beat his knife, he’ll get a gun.  You beat him with a gun, you better kill him.  
What makes it worse in Taiwan is that your gun can’t hold enough bullets to solve the problem.  Sooner or later, you and your brother are going to wind up in the cornfield…just like Pesci.

Now, all you violent bastards fuck off.  I’m busy.

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4 Responses

  1. This often applies to taxi drivers as well. Help is a radio call away.

    • In Taiwan, the taxi drivers bring their own cudgels and join in the weiguoren beatin’.
      For cabbies, it’s something of a pastime.

  2. Call Martin Scorsese. I think we have a sequel.

  3. Being kidnapped and attacked by those guys,
    mitten in the day. In front of governmental building.
    Police was not helping, nor people.
    Thanks to the fact that i am martial artist – survived it all.
    Local Taipei police was not even curious about my story.

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